ESPN’s 2015 Championship Week Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods will feature exclusive coverage of a record 135 men’s college basketball conference tournament games from 24 Division I and three Division II conferences across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, SEC Network and ESPN3 from Tuesday, March 3 to Sunday, March 15. ESPN’s 30th, ESPN2’s 21st and ESPNU’s 10th year of comprehensive lineup of matchups will be highlighted by 23 Division I teams earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Highlights:
- The action will tip off on Tuesday, March 3, with four Atlantic Sun quarterfinal matchups and two Horizon League first-round contests on ESPN3 and conclude Sunday, March 15, with the SEC, Sun Belt and American championships.
- A new Tuesday to Saturday schedule for the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament will result in the championship game being played on a Saturday for the first time since 1981. With the format change, ESPN’s Saturday night lineup on March 14 will showcase a tripleheader of marquee title games: the Big 12 at 6 p.m., ACC at 8:30 p.m. and Pac-12 at 11 p.m.
- ESPN platforms will combine to carry every game from nine conferences: ACC (13), American (10), Atlantic Sun (8), Big 12 (9), Horizon (7), MEAC (11), SEC (13), Southern (9) and Sun Belt (7).
- The first year of SEC Network’s schedule will include exclusive coverage of the first 10 games of the Southeastern Conference Basketball Tournament from Wednesday, March 11, to Friday, March 13. ESPN will televise the semifinals (Saturday, March 14, at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.) and championship (Sunday, March 15, at 1 p.m.).
- ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 will carry 18 conference tournament games, including 11 championships, on Saturday, March 14.
The entire Championship Week coverage will also be available through WatchESPN, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 or Xbox One to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
ESPN3 will provide extra Championship Week coverage with five special “ESPN3 Surround” applications – a second-screen initiative, which provides an alternative viewing experience to the traditional telecast with different camera angles and audio – on the ACC, American, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC title games.
New Animation Package
ESPN will unveil a new and unique animation package and new theme music forChampionship Week. The animation package features a rich gold color palette and utilizes a majestic arena environment with ascending lights and camera moves that reflect the rising aspirations of teams during this pivotal time of the season. The gold theme will also translate to commercial music selections with “Glitter & Gold” by Rebecca Ferguson and “Golden” by Parade of Lights.
On-Site Studio Coverage
ESPN will provide on-site studio coverage from the ACC and SEC tournaments, including College GameDay Covered by State Farmoriginating from the ACC championship game in Greensboro, N.C. on Saturday, March 14.College GameDay will air at 11 a.m. on ESPNU and continue at noon on ESPN.
Rece Davis and analysts Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams will provide segments from the ACC tournament Thursday, March 12, through the championship game on Saturday, March 14. Host Karl Ravech and analysts Sean Farnham and Dick Vitale will provide coverage from the SEC tournament in Nashville, Tenn. for the entire event.
Week Concludes with Extensive Day-Long Coverage
The final day of Championship Week – Selection Sunday, March 15 – will begin with a two-hour College Basketball Live at 11 a.m. on ESPN2 and continuing at noon on ESPN, followed by the SEC Championship (on ESPN) and Sun Belt Championship (on ESPN2), both at 1 p.m. Game action will conclude with ESPN’s telecast of the American Athletic Championship at 3:15 p.m. The studio coverage will continue on ESPN2 at 3 p.m. with a two-hour Bubble Watch program. ESPN’s SportsCenter program at the conclusion of the American telecast will include extensive coverage of the men’s NCAA Championship selections as they are announced, followed by a two-hour Bracketology Presented by Staples at 7 p.m. on ESPN and another two-hour Bracketology Presented by Staples at 9 p.m. on ESPN2. ESPNU will televise the eighth annual NIT Selection Show at 8:30 p.m. and a three-hour Tournament Countdown edition of The Experts at 9 p.m.
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